It all started the second week of May. I had this excruciating pain from just above the peri-umbilical region of my abdomen and the epigastrium which ran downwards to the right iliac fossa — it felt like the worse acid of my life! I was in pain. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. It just hurt, hurt, and hurt. And being the stubborn medical student that I am, I still went about my days and just pretended to ignore it the best I could!
A few days later, the pain became a sharp burning pain localized directly at McBurney’s point. I knew exactly what was wrong, I had appendicitis. I performed the Psoas sign test, only to confirm what I had known already.
As stubborn as I was, I ended up wandering into the emergency room of a local hospital which surprisingly I had never stepped foot in before. The hospital staff was extremely friendly and took me in and treated me promptly even though I had no medical or health insurance of any kind.
The emergency physician was actually pretty cool, he reminded me of myself a lot! ..but then again, I do want to go into emergency medicine.
After a short series of tests and CT scans I was rushed into emergency surgery to have my appendix removed.
The surgery went well, except for the part where the anesthesiologist couldn’t wake me up immediately — but, not to worry, these kind of things happen from time to time. I ended up leaving the hospital a day later, feeling like a million bucks — minus the huge scars across my abdomen, and the post-surgery pain.
I didn’t think much more of my visit to the emergency room, and my subsequent surgery until all the medical bills started flooding in..
My jaw dropped, I couldn’t believe what the hospital wanted to charge me! The hospital wanted to charge me $2,000 just for using iodine during my surgery, so you can imagine how much all of the bills ended up coming to..
The bills for my surgery, hospital stay, and other medical expenses ended up totaling a staggering $40,000 since I didn’t have any medical/health insurance!
Did you know that medical bills cause 60% of bankruptcies in America. Knowing this, on top of studying for the USMLE, and trying to already find money to pay for medical school.. I just felt like I was doomed!
It all just made me stress out, and in turn freak out that much more! I was going nuts trying to figure out how to pay for such incredible bills on top of paying for medical school, and everything else — which ended up only leading me to get depressed, temporarily.
I searched far and low for a solution. I talked to the hospital. I talked to the billing representatives. I talked to the physicians. I talked to everyone.
And, guess what!!? It paid off!
I just got a letter in the mail — the hospital (Memorial Hospital of Carbondale), along with a few generous physicians, decided to cover my medical bills in full! I, Ziyad Nazem, am forever grateful to these kind souls, and would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.
So, you see..
This, this is just proof, that the healthcare system really does work — you just have to believe in it.
I got a chance to see how the healthcare system works. I got a chance to feel it, and see what millions of Americans go through first hand — which was great, because now I know how we can change it.
If only, we could provide free medical care to everyone!
Perhaps one day..blog comments powered by Disqus
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